Security cooperation in the Baltic Sea area for the

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					International Conference The Baltic Sea as an Escape Route                                                                                         67

Security cooperation in the Baltic Sea
area for the fields of escape, migra-
tion, escape helpers as well trafficking
in people and organized crime
– Short version –
Assistant head of government department Joerg Ziercke, Director of the
police department in the Ministry of the Interior, Schleswig-Holstein

    Ladies and Gentlemen,                               in without travel documents. Human smug-         land have noted an increase in a danger-
I have been requested to talk to you about              gling is organized for the most part by          ous method of smuggling, that in sealed-
the topi cs ’Security cooperation in the                making use of commercial or business-type        off, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). Just how
Baltic Sea area for the fields of escape, mi-           structures. In Germany in a number of cas-       dangerous this type of smuggling is and
gration, flight aid as well as trafficking in           es import/export firms were founded and          how criminal the activities of the human
people and organized crime’. Furthermore                through contracts of cooperation connect-        smuggler organisations are, was made clear
you are interested, so I was told, in the ac-           ed with partnership firms e.g. in Russia.        by the tragic deaths of a large number of
tivities of the state government here in the            These firms were founded in order to issue       asylum seekers in 1999 in Dover.
framework of the Baltic Sea Task Force on               letters of invitation and guarantee state-
Organized Crime.                                        ments. These were then used to obtain visas
                                                                                                         Digression: illegal smuggling of
    The planning of your conference tak-                fraudulently at the German agencies abroad.
                                                                                                         human beings and terrorism
ing place today occurred before the dra-                In a case, for which the investigations have
matic events of the 11th September 2001 in              been completed, at least 10,000 people were          The illegal, cross-border transport of
the U.S.A. The far-reaching consequences                smuggled in using this method.                   people, has in the meantime been proven
of these attacks on the German and Eu-                      The firms were also utilised to transfer     to be used for the unnoticed infiltration of
ropean security architecture are still not              the payments of the smugglers abroad, and        terrorists.
fully foreseeable. The package of measures              used to launder money. In one case a Sri             During the preparation of the attacks on
undertaken by the federal German gov-                   Lankan organization for human smuggling          the World Trade Centre in New York, Islam-
ernment show, however, that significantly               opened a number of retail outlets by means       istic terrorists have identified and shared in-
more needs to be done in the field of secu-             of which over 50 people were smuggled in.        formation about various weaknesses of the
rity in Germany.                                        It has also been proven that travel agencies     security architecture: those in airline safety;
    I would like to begin from the point of             have been put into service for the smug-         the issuing of visas at German consular of-
view of the police in the federal state of              gling of Turkish citizens to Germany in          fices abroad; the asylum proceedings; the
Schleswig-Holstein with a short phenome-                more than 100 cases.                             decentralized storage of data ; and com-
nological depiction of police practice and                  Among the most common methods of             munications between authorities responsi-
a sketch-map of the situation as it is, which           operation for organized crime is the open-       ble for security. Since the threat appears to
contains above all statistical material. Both           ing of restaurants which are used for laun-      be a persisting one, central governments feel
are in my opinion important in order to                 dering money, and in which at the same           obliged to take some action.
be able to better understand what may be                time the people smuggled in can work off             Germany has been proven to be a fall-
different assessments, and the discussion               the fees which they owe to the smugglers         back, resting place, and logistical prepara-
about the consequent actions which one                      A gang of Yugoslavian criminals helped       tion centre for Islamistic terrorists. The at-
can derive from those.                                  their fellow-countrymen through issuing          tacks in the USA were prepared over a pe-
                                                        identity papers of a bogus political organi-     riod of approx. two years as we now know.
                                                        zation for the purpose of obtaining asylum       The German federal attorney general is cur-
Phenomenology of human
                                                        in Germany. After the successful conclusion      rently proceeding with 12 investigations
trafficking and illegal human
                                                        of the asylum proceedings, the victims were      against suspected Islamistic terrorists and
smuggling
                                                        blackmailed by the organization. Monthly         their supporters in Germany, three people
    What constitutes the reality of trade in            “donations” in a range between 100 to 200        from the circles closest to the hijackers are
human trafficking, trade in women, the il-              DM (approx. 51 – 102 Euro) were extorted         currently sought with warrants for their ar-
legal human smuggling for the police and                regularly. It has been proven that the organi-   rest. 17,000 clues and traces are currently
especially for the Bundesgrenzschutz (BGS)              zation made a profit of over 500,000 Euro.       been examined by a 600-strong special team
[the German frontier police]?                               It has been reported from Poland that        of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) [German
    The most important methods of human                 the Polish passport is very popular on           equivalent of F.B.I.] 450 bank accounts are
smuggling are the misuse of tourist visas,              the “black market“ because the paper is          being evaluated.
fraudulently obtained visas, counterfeited or           of inferior quality, and is as a result rela-        The situation is tense even if we here in
falsified travel documents, or the smuggling            tively easy to falsify. The authorities in Po-   Germany need not expect an attack of the
Konferenz-Dokumentation, Hrsg. Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel 2002
International Conference The Baltic Sea as an Escape Route

same dimension as what might happen in                  for Italian car shunters on the route via the    ing groups concern themselves with the set
the USA. Among other successes, the BKA                 Baltic to Eastern Europe. The Balkans route      of problems associated with illegal migra-
were able to prevent an explosives attack in            is considered to be the main artery for her-     tion; trafficking with people and specifically
Strasbourg by terrorists in December 2000;              oin smuggling to Europe, 60 % – 80 % was         trading with women; with organized crime
this was accomplished by timely arrests in              smuggled on this route. A part of the heroin     at the international level, and with interna-
Frankfurt am Main. There have been arrests              was delivered to Western or Northern Eu-         tional terrorism. This overview of the spec-
too in France, Italy and Spain. In 1999 as-             rope through Poland, the Czech republic or       trum of crime is for the police’s assessment
sassinations were prevented in Jordan and               the Baltic states.                               of the situation of decisive importance.
Los Angeles. As you know, the prevention                    For the surveillance of cross border
in time of assassinations was less successful           movement of cash, the customs authorities
                                                                                                         Situation appraisal by Europol
in other cases: in 1993 a bomb attack on                and the frontier police are entitled to in-
                                                                                                         (The Hague)
the WTC, 1995 and 1996 on the US troops                 spect the physical carrying of money across
in Saudi Arabia, 1998 the US embassies in               frontiers. They reported all inspections of          The European police institution Eu-
Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, as well as that              cash which amounted to more than 30,000          ropol has very recently presented to ex-
on a US warship in the Gulf of Aden. Isla-              DM (approx. 15,600 Euro) or where there          perts in this field an analysis not only of
mistic terrorists were able to carry out these          was suspicion of money laundering. In 663        illegal migration but also trafficking with
attacks.                                                cases the cash possessed by travellers with      people and women in Europe.
                                                        a value of approx. 90 million DM was not             Illegal migration is a continually grow-
                                                        declared. Worthy of note was the seizure         ing problem in all member states of the
Statistical balance for the
                                                        of forged banknotes to a value of $ (US)         EU. Ever more people are the victims of
year 2000
                                                        250,000. In respect of the introduction of       sexual exploitation or the exploitation as
    I would now like to extend this descrip-            the Euro, a considerable increase of bring-      workers in dumping-price jobs in agricul-
tion of the forms which illegal migration               ing into circulation of forged German DM         ture, the textile industry, in the restaurant
and criminal smuggling of people takes in-              banknotes has been expected.                     or building sector. For the improvement of
cluding the problem of the infiltration of                  In the year 2000 over 6 million visas        their life situation a large number of mi-
terrorists; I shall do this with a statistical          were used in the framework of the Schen-         grants risk being at the mercy of unscru-
assessment of the year 2000 from the view-              gen Treaty. The amount on the part of Ger-       pulous human traffickers who seek cheap
point of the police and frontier authori-               many was over 20 % of those. As examples         labour or women and children to work as
ties. With that not only the qualitative                I mention Moscow with 206,000 applica-           prostitutes or in the pornographic scene
but also the quantitative dimension will be-            tions, Kiev with 211,000 and Istanbul with       of European cities and sex work milieus.
come clear. Please forgive me for now pre-              102,000. In 167,000 cases the German con-        The growing influence of organised crime
senting a range of figures.                             sular authorities refused the application;       is verifiable. About 10 % of all organised
    Firstly taking a look at the Danish bor-            277,000 were not accepted for a decision         crime groupings concern themselves exclu-
der in the year 2000 there were approx.                 due to missing documents.                        sively with human smuggling.
200, in the previous year about 1,000; by                   Repatriations from Germany consisted             The main sources of illegal migrants aim-
way of sea harbours in 2000 there were                  of 55,800 cases in the year 2000; in the pre-    ing for the EU are at present the following
about 250, in the previous year (1999)                  vious year the figure was 56,500.                countries and areas: China, Afghanistan and
about 350, illegal inward journeys. There-                  Yet more statistics about the measures       all states with a Kurdish element in the pop-
by 9 human smugglers were arrested and                  carried out as part of the Schengen Imple-       ulation such as Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria
25 smuggled persons found. In 2000 in to-               mentation Agreement (SIA): cross-border          and Turkey. Eastern Europe and North Af-
tal 2,230 were refused entry, in the previ-             surveillance actions which took place on         rica are ever more used as transit countries.
ous year this number was approx. 1,850.                 129 occasions, in Schleswig Holstein only        The Baltic states are at one and the same
The number of human traffickers arrested                once. Cross-border pursuit took place only       time source-, transit- and destination coun-
amounted to 67 in 2000, in the previous                 13 times, Schleswig-Holstein reported no ex-     tries.
year 68. The BGS stated that the number                 amples. In the context of reports in accord-         Trafficking in people and specifically
of smuggled person was 89 in 2000, in                   ance with the SIA, 9,300 weapons were tak-       women has its sources predominantly in
1999 the figure 133. For the year 2000 it               en into other EU countries in 2000; 2,250        central and Eastern Europe, in South-East
was ascertained that the marine frontiers               came into Germany. The Zollfahndungs-            Asia, South America, West Africa and in the
were not subject to any significant pressure            dienst [German customs service responsi-         Maghreb region
of migration. The measures taken by the                 ble for searching] seized 40,000 rounds of           Europol spotlights the following trends
border police in the Baltic area were aimed             munitions and 20 kg. of explosives.              as significant: The management of illegal
at combating in good time potential, mi-                    In the Schengen Information system           migration by criminal networks, which
gratory pressures via the Baltic states. For            (SIS) by the date 1.1.2001, approx. 9.8 mil-     form a part of organised crime, has be-
this purpose an organizational combina-                 lion searches were registered. Of those 2.6      come more and more the rule: the willing-
tion of all sea-going, frontier police units            million searches were of German origin. 70       ness to use violence against organs of the
took place. The frontier police authorities             % were the so-called document searches. In       state is increasing. The smuggling of people
ascertained 84 “blind passengers” in 2000.              total there were 788,000 searches of people,     is also used to prepare terrorist actions in
    The total figure for people excluded from           of which 313,000 stemmed from Germany.           Europe. Counterfeited identity documents
entering Germany by air travel in 2000 was              305,000 searches alone concerned foreign-        are a proof of the criminal networks which
in total 1,650, and 1,737 who wanted fraudu-            ers from third countries i.e. non-EU states      produce them. Corruption has also signifi-
lently to obtain visas with forged or falsi-            with the aim of refusing entry to them. In       cantly risen. The frontier controls in a large
fied documents. In the framework of secu-               total 11,300 hits were registered for the year   number of source-, transit- and destination
rity work at the borders carried out by the             2000.                                            countries are completely insufficient. That
BGS, 465 vehicles were seized: these in the                 With the background of this state of af-     applies to air traffic as well. There has been
context of organized vehicle shunting. In               fairs both in Germany at the European lev-       a growth too in the use by one and the
that sphere Schleswig-Holstein was a focus              el, a large number of institutions and work-     same person of different identity papers in
Konferenz-Dokumentation, Hrsg. Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel 2002
International Conference The Baltic Sea as an Escape Route

various European states. The fear of the                place in individual cases.                        measures concerning laws on aliens will be
victims in this contemporary slave trade of                The trafficking in human beings is             implemented within the EU:
the criminal human smugglers leads to an                counted as one of the so-called police con-       • Closer consular cooperating and unifi-
almost total lack of cooperation with the               trol felonies i.e. the more police officers         cation concerning visa regulations;
authorities. Victims are increasingly invis-            are employed so in all probability the high-      • Improved exchange of visa data and the
ible for the latter since the victims are ever          er will be the number of registered cases.          setting-up of an EU-wide document alerts
more thoroughly sealed-off in the relations             In the field of prostitution it has been as-      • Improvement of the technical equip-
of exploitation.                                        certained that in about 25 % of all cases           ment at visa offices so as to recognise
    Europol has proposed as a general strat-            the women and girls involved are smug-              counterfeiting of documents
egy targeted measures which bridge differ-              gled into Germany due to fraudulent mis-          • Rapid creation of Eurodac at the Euro-
ent departments in the source, transit- and             representation. This conclusion should not          pean level.
destination lands. In particular, Europol ar-           make light of the use of violence against
gues that a closer cooperation between the              them after their entry, or the inhuman
                                                                                                          Interpol
authorities responsible for foreigners, the             form of forcible prostitution in individual
customs, the coast guards, the diplomatic               cases.                                                Interpol has set up a specialised depart-
services, the finance authorities, the social                                                             ment for the combating of human traffick-
and health departments, the trade unions                                                                  ing and the criminality associated with it.
                                                        Sketch of the situation
and NGOs to be required.                                                                                  Specific assessment programmes like e.g. at
                                                        in Germany 2001
    After the terrorist attacks on the USA,                                                               present one which is examining illegal mi-
measures at the European level have been                   The state of illegal migration as it con-      gration by Chinese nationals will produce
markedly concentrated on controlling the                cerns Germany can be described as fol-            operative recommendations to the EU.
external frontiers of the EU, on a more                 lows with the current stand as of Novem-              Europol offers a range of activities in-
restrictive distribution of visas and corre-            ber 2001: Despite a drop in the number of         cluding a strategic yearly report, up-to-date
spondingly an extensive exchange of infor-              recorded illegal migrants in the year 2000        assessments, the creation of so-called joint
mation when processing visa applications,               as against the years 1998 and 1999, there         teams with the goal of coordination of in-
as well as rendering visa and visa stamps               were still a considerable number of illegal       tegrative procedures, as well as the opera-
less liable to forgery.                                 entries and human smuggles. The Czech             tive analysis with assessment alerts for the
    Furthermore the exchange of so-called               republic is besides Austria the most im-          member states.
liaison officers between the various coun-              portant transit land for Germany In the
tries has been intensified. These officers spe-         year 2000 there were all the same 50,000
                                                                                                          Baltic Sea Task Force
cialized coordination are supposed to work              (58,000 in 1999) illegal inward migrants.
against corruption in civil services. The edu-          Approx. 7,000 cases of crime involving hu-            The heads of government of the states
cation of potential migrants (male and fe-              man smuggling were registered (a drop of          bordering on the Baltic Sea resolved in
male) about the risks of attempting to en-              15 % compared to 1999).                           May 1996 to improve cooperation in the
ter countries illegally, about the exploitative            Conditioned by the still continuing mi-        sphere of combating trafficking in women
practices and threats of violence will also             gratory pressure the demand remains for           and girls. To implement this they set up a
follow as a central focus. The cross-border             the criminal services of the human traffick-      task force. Members are personally author-
struggle against organised crime will be in-            ing groups which operate internationally.         ized representatives to the heads of govern-
tensified with the participation of both Eu-            Organised crime has discovered a lucrative        ment, for the Federal Republic of Germany
ropol and Interpol. Operative measures also             area of activity.                                 it is an under-secretary of state in the Bun-
involving the EU candidate countries and                                                                  desinnenministerium (Ministry of Interior
other third countries will be intensified. A                                                              Affairs). The work of the Task Force is co-
                                                        Measures against human trafficking
further focus will be the carriers in the field                                                           ordinated in the tactically angled, subordi-
of transport and their logistics including the             The measures which have been decided           nated Operative Committee to which Sch-
obligation to return transport and the bear-            on at the national level against the smug-        leswig-Holstein also belongs, and in which
ing of all costs. Airline companies, ferry lines        gling of human beings have already been           representatives of all law enforcement and
and freight companies working with HGVs                 presented to the Bundesrat: [the second           frontier authorities work together.
will in future be even more strongly integrat-          chamber of the German Parliament].                    In the Baltic Sea area the work is cen-
ed into the concerted operative measures.               • Improvement of police cooperation with          tred on an improved exchange of informa-
Europol will coordinate the latter.                        the establishment of investigative co-oper-    tion, joint police operations, cooperation
     The recommendations of Europol em-                    ation between the police forces of the var-    between the different judiciaries, as well as
phasise last of all the development of part-               ious federal states, the BGS, the Zoll [cus-   the further training of police specialists.
nership cooperation with the NGOs in                       toms], the state prosecutors and Europol;          The following fields of criminal offenc-
particular with the additional goal of im-              • Close international cooperation by the          es are analysed by groups of experts and
proving support for the victims of human                   police and the judiciary;                      prepared for operative measures: shifting
smuggling.                                              • Unification of the penal codes in re-           of stolen vehicles, illegal migration, narcot-
                                                           spect of criminality involving human           ics trafficking, money laundering and high-
                                                           smuggling within the EU framework              ly taxed goods.
Current situation in the Baltic area
                                                        • Seizure of illegally gained profit                  Through the Operative Committee of
    Since 1995 no large-scale acts of hu-               • Strengthened safeguarding of the exter-         the Task Force (OPC), a number of joint
man smuggling in the Baltic are known of.                  nal borders                                    searches have been initiated. An appraisal
However, in recent years smuggled passen-                                                                 of the current state of affairs in respect of
gers have been cast adrift in dinghies not                                                                human trafficking in the Baltic Sea area
                                                        Measures involving laws concerning
far from coastlines, or they have smuggled                                                                is regularly put together, and the member
                                                        aliens
as ostensible members of the crew. Human                                                                  states are sent a weekly report on the cur-
smuggling across the Baltic sea has taken                   Furthermore among other steps taken,          rent situation.
Konferenz-Dokumentation, Hrsg. Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel 2002
International Conference The Baltic Sea as an Escape Route

Conclusions of the European                               cerning direct communication between          Baltic Partnership for Security
Commission decided on at                                  different police forces at the interna-           To return now to the situation in
Tampere 1999                                              tional level                                  Schleswig-Holstein especially to the term
   For the activities at the European level,            • Criminological assessment alerts and de-      Ostsee-Sicherheitspartnerschaft (Baltic Part-
of great importance are the conclusions of                velopment of an early warning system in       nership for Security):
the European Commission at Tampere in                     the domain of human trafficking                   The police in the state of Schleswig-Hol-
1999. The European Commission stressed                                                                  stein enjoy good relations with all coun-
that illegal immigration – as it was called             Department-specific measures                    tries bordering on the Baltic Sea. Our Bal-
verbatim – has to be combated at its roots                 We can depict the further need for ac-       tic cooperation includes both assistance at
especially against those who smuggle in                 tion to achieve the implementation of the       the levels of equipment, training and con-
migrants and exploit them economically.                 department-specific approaches as follows:      sulting, and also the realization of a part-
The member states were called on to direct              • Setting up of state attorney office’s spe-    nership between the official departments
together with Europe their efforts at the                  cialised in these crimes;                    concerned with security.
exposure and breaking-up of the criminal                • Intensification of the cooperation be-            Through our help on the levels of equip-
networks involved. The Council specifical-                 tween the Ausländerbehörden (authori-        ment, training and consulting for these na-
ly stressed that the rights of those who                   ties dealing with aliens) and the Bunde-     tions, we contribute to the police forces
are the victims of such activities have to re-             samt für die Anerkennung ausländischer       in the young Baltic reform states being
main intact, whereby the rights of women                   Flüchtlinge (Federal Office for the Recog-   oriented to legal and democratic principles
and children above all have to be consid-                  nition of Foreign Refugees). This should     of statehood. Furthermore they will be in
ered.                                                      be done with the focus on forged and         a position to process effectively the cross-
                                                           falsified documents of identity;             border criminality.
                                                        • Improvement of the practice concern-              Specific protocol agreements at the min-
The Budapest Group and the
                                                           ing issuing of visas with the main em-       istry level which concern the police in their
AlpenInformationspartnerschaft
                                                           phasis on the recognition of cases where     work have led to definite agreements not
(Alpine Information Partnership)
                                                           there is suspicion of fraudulently ob-       only about an exchange of information,
   Regional agreements exist too e.g.                      taining visas;                               but also to the naming of contact persons
through the Budapest Group who since                    • Deployment of police document ex-             in the police and to regular visits in both
1997 have first and foremost carried out                   perts at consulates abroad                   directions.
projects of cooperation amongst frontier                • Combating of illegal employment with              The bilateral agreements apply along
police in the Balkans and in the Black                     the main focus on the building, clean-       with the Nordic states first of all to the
Sea region. Since 1999 there has been                      ing and restaurant sectors.                  partner lands Estonia, Latvia and Lithua-
a so-called AlpenInformationspartnerschaft                                                              nia, Poland and the Russian Federation
(AIP) [Alpine Information Partnership] be-              Legal                                           limited to the region of Leningrad, the city
tween Germany, Austria, France, Switzer-                   There is also a need for some action to      of St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.
land, Italy and Liechtenstein. The focus                be taken at the level of legal sanctions:           The fruits of this cooperation were
here is on illegal migration and trafficking            • The carrying of firearms during human         among other things an international con-
in people. At the moment there are plans                   trafficking, treatment which endangers       ference about the combating of organised
for mixed surveillance services on the joint               the lives of those being smuggled,           crime which took place in October 1999
borders and at the borders with third                      or the frivolous causing of the death        at the Landeskriminalamt (Police Office
states.                                                    of the smuggled should become a              for the state of Schleswig-Holstein) in Kiel.
                                                           crime with harsher penalties under the       One of the most important themes at that
                                                           Ausländergesetz (laws relating to for-       conference was cooperation in combating
Need for action from the view-
                                                           eigners)                                     organized human smuggling and traffick-
point of the home affairs ministries
                                                        • The guarantee of successfully being           ing in women.
(of the 16 federal states in Ger-
                                                           smuggled is now part of the standard of-         The Schengen body of legislation has
many)
                                                           fer made by smuggler criminality organ-      developed into a major factor in integra-
   The inner ministries in Germany have                    ised internationally. The repeated illegal   tion politics. Its integrative nature is de-
defined further requirements for action by                 entry should be included with harsher        monstrated too in the introduction of the
the police.                                                penalties as a consequence. It should be     Schengen Acquis in the Baltic states which
                                                           possible to have an option not to pun-       are EU candidates. This has taken place
Police tactics                                             ish the smuggled if they disclose infor-     in the framework of the PHARE-Twinning
• Money laundering and investigations of                   mation about the smugglers.                  Projects of the European Union. These
  financial matters should assume more                  • Creation of a legal basis in the Aus-         “twinning projects” contribute significantly
  importance in the combating of human                     länderzentralregistergesetz (AZRG) [Law      to the improvement of co-operation and to
  trafficking                                              concerning central register of aliens] for   mutual understanding. Schleswig-Holstein
• Increased implementation of police                       the management of a file which covers        has too already brought in two extensive
  search measures and controls of interna-                 the entire EU about decisions on visa        projects lasting several years in the spheres
  tional traffic routes on the basis of ap-                applications, and a document alert with      of interior affairs and justice.
  praisal alerts                                           the data of all persons and organisations    Translation: Tim Gluckmann, Cologne
• Combining of resources of the BGS and                    who have played a role in the fraudulent
  police forces of the respective federal                  obtaining of visas, the improper use of
  German states by means of joint investi-                 correctly issued visas, or those who oth-
  gative teams, and easing of access to in-                erwise have come to light in the context
  formation from the respective data bas-                  of the support of illegal entry or human
  es                                                       smuggling.
• Improvement of the arrangements con-
Konferenz-Dokumentation, Hrsg. Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel 2002